Things I’ll never say with these words; things I wish I could say if I didn’t care about the fall-out of semantics; things nobody in the real world would say because the message is too well-crafted.
— YiQi le 13 mars 2011 pendant elle conduit la voiture.
When I’m nervous, I go silent or scratchy-disc (player gets stuck and the same pixels of image or milliseconds of sound replay). There’s also a tendency towards continual nodding and smiling. Due to inner running monologues and near-ceaseless over-analyzing, I’ve always had less to say out loud and more to write down…or communicate to the ears of those want to and know how to decode my esoteric utterances.
It’s not characteristic of me to speak my mind either, which could be paradoxical considering how stubborn I am and that I am a devoted follower of the Because-I-Do-Or-Do-Not-Feel-Like-It school of thought and action. For most of my adolescent years and a substantial portion of my young adult life, I kept quiet about whatever was upsetting or frustrating me. I turned to reading, writing, drawing, conjuring imaginary friends, and entertaining dark and pulpy daydreams starring human sources of anxiety.
I didn’t ignore the negativity, but I recycled and re-costumed it so that I wouldn’t have to confront it in its true form. I knew how it made me feel — disappointed, misinformed, misled — and yet I was unable to or unwilling to identify the cause. It’s a common occurrence. You know the symptoms but cannot diagnose the condition. Lather, rinse, and repeat for a dozen years or more until one day, one week, one month…one narrative arc and the (pre)existing modus operandi becomes ineffective and cries out for a re-evaluation.
Re-evaluations have abounded in the last two weeks alone. Just when I think I’ve come to the pinnacle or last frontier of Self-Actualization, unseen forces (including Irony) remind me that the last frontier is forever visible but just out of reach. The downside? Over-thinking will likely not dissipate. The upside? I’ve gone from being quiet to speaking my mind about things that have been doing Stravinsky styled parades in my head.
Of course, the minute my back was turned and the distance between the audience and me grew, I started to doubt myself…what I said and why. Seven minutes later, I starting to loathe my gut for compelling me to do it. I had actually been intent on keeping it to myself for the rest of time, but weeks later I couldn’t hold the message or its implications inside anymore. For better or for worse, I had to stick up for myself. By the time I had obtained an espresso product, I was able to diagnose the aforementioned condition. It has many names, of which insecurity, fear, and impatience are the most popular.
Not surprisingly, I’m left with more questions than answers. As much as I’d like to remember this side of the balance beam:
“Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.”
— Barbara Johnson
Rattlings of “Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.”
— Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
will not abate.
About those things I’ll never say because I care about the fall-out of semantics:
— “Medusa is not going to hand over the golden fleece just because you politely ask for it; if you want the golden fleece, you have to cut off her head because she won’t let you get close enough to take it when she’s not looking.”
pitted against things I know to be the truth:
— “You can eventually escape from a sleeping giant, but you have to wait for it to fall asleep; poking it and demanding it to let you go achieves nothing.